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What is a Crusher anyway?

Article about: Ok so let's get the discussion going. For me, the term crusher is a collectors term and has been used, abused and totaly misunderstood for too long. Germany had a cap called the Feldmutze Al

  1. #1
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    Default What is a Crusher anyway?

    Ok so let's get the discussion going.

    For me, the term crusher is a collectors term and has been used, abused and totaly misunderstood for too long.

    Germany had a cap called the Feldmutze Alter Art (Old Style Field Cap) and my interpretation of it would be a leather or paper laminated peak cap with hardly any interal padding and no fancy lady da features like stirndruckfrei in an attempt to achieve a true lighweight and comfortable alternative to the walking out Schirmmutze with wire stiffeners and rigid peaks etc.

    I know we've been here before so forgive me, it's my favourite subject and the one we understand the least about. The input of FB and others is therrfore compulsory.

    Every leather peaked cap from the 1900's to 1945 is considered a "crusher" in today's collectors terms. Germany had no such word for the description of these hats.

    With this thread, I'm hoping we can discover the truth or at least get to the point where we are embarrassed to call them crushers because we now know better.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: What is a Crusher anyway?

    shure ther is a german term for crusher it is knautschmütze and this is how a crusher was calld in the old days

  4. #3
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    Default Re: What is a Crusher anyway?

    A wonderful Alter ART of the Imperial era. I have an example myself recently bought and will post asap. In comparison the quintessential SS "crusher" that we all aspire to own! More than 30 years at least seperate these caps.
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  5. #4
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    Default Re: What is a Crusher anyway?

    Quote by klinger View Post
    shure ther is a german term for crusher it is knautschmütze and this is how a crusher was calld in the old days
    Ok, so I'm glad you said that because, although my German is terrrible I don't think knautschmütze means crusher hat or does it?

  6. #5

    Default Re: What is a Crusher anyway?

    In response to klinger's comment, just because there is a suffiecient translation of a collector term does not mean that term was used to refer to the caps in their time period. Remember, there are current militaria collectors all over Germany, many of whom no doubt use collector terms like anybody else. A cap of this kind was known as a feldmutze alter art in the time period, as Ben has said. That much is certain. I don't know about knautschmutze being used in the period, though I'm not so convinced that's the case... I await confirmation or denial.

    I don't really get too bent out of shape over the term "crusher". I think it's important to know the original German terms, but if nothing else, it is faster to type out than "feldmutze alter art". I don't mind its use as long as people are aware that it is not an official term.

  7. #6

    Default Re: What is a Crusher anyway?

    no soldier usd the term feldmütze alter art, my grandfather was in the ss and allways when he told me stories from the war and showd me his uniform he usd the term knautschmütze and i have seen this term often and more often, kanste glauben dit is so und nich anders

  8. #7
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    Default Re: What is a Crusher anyway?

    Forgive me, the idea of starting this discussion was not based on what they should be called, it was more the interest in how for decades, these caps were favoured and the differences between true "knautschmütze" and leather peaked schirmmutzen and how that relates to the confusion these days.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: What is a Crusher anyway?

    Is the term "Crusher" only applied to third reich caps as i thought the term originated in America and the USAAF used the term openly to describe their soft caps.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: What is a Crusher anyway?

    For me, a "crusher" is a very general collectors term that seems to be very subjective. When I hear crusher an image comes to mind of a visor cap with any of several different attributes, i.e.; leather/paper visor, flat wire insignia, light weight construction.
    However there many, many variations on the crusher theme. Hybrids, if you will, with attributes of both the Alte Art and your standard schirmmutze. Having had the opportunity to handle and study Mr. Sacks collection of "crushers" ,from early cloth billed SS to the silk top panzer and Recruiters I acquired from him, I have come to really appreciate just how many variations there are. So where does a schirmmutze end and a crusher begin. Who's to say where the cut off point is? Some crushers were, in my mind, strictly to make a fashion/status statement.
    For example; in the photo below all these are crushers (most in my collection now) look how flashy the ones with bullion insignia are while the flatwire ones look like working hats.
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  11. #10
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    Default Re: What is a Crusher anyway?

    Thank you Erich, my understanding of the origin of the german crusher or knautschmütze or whatever you want to call them began with the demand from young dashing cavalrymen wanting a lightweight peaked cap resembling the student caps worn in Universities..

    Ok, not the best example of a dashing young man!
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